donorWhen asked why he and his wife Jan made a gift to TMF’s Grants Ministry in support of Harvey relief and recovery, Charles King described a rough illustration: “Draw a vertical popsicle stick with God at the top and me at the bottom and a heart in the middle,” he instructed. “That’s where the relationship begins – as a willing receiver of God’s grace, acceptance, and love. Being willing to receive is a key first step.”

“Then draw a horizontal stick with an intersecting heart in the middle,” he continued. “That’s what God wants us to do – take God’s love and grace, with outstretched arms, and extend it out into the community and the world. That’s the meaning of the cross.” Simply put, as you have received, so are you able to give. God has given God’s own life to enrich and transform the lives of others. We should do the same.

Inspired by Grants Ministry Director Jacki Lammert’s description of how lives are being changed through the work of TMF grant recipients, Charles contacted Jacki after Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas coast and dropped historic rainfall, displacing thousands of families in the affected areas. “I knew the needs were acute and overwhelming and wanted to help but also wanted our gift to be put to the best, highest use,” he explained.

“Jacki’s description of the Grants Ministry’s commitment to carefully allocating resources to outcomes and systemic change just confirmed my experience with TMF as an organization that optimizes resources. Even in this environment of disaster relief, Jan and I were confident our gift would be used to make lasting change in people’s lives,” Charles observed.

“I can’t say enough how much we value the generosity of donors like Charles and Jan,” said Jacki. “As a Houston resident, I was in the midst of unimaginable loss, everywhere I looked. Receiving a call from Amarillo offering a gift to help make families and communities up and down the coast whole again, was a lifeline.”

Gifts like those from the Kings, along with TMF funds, enabled the Grants Ministry to award $302,000 to 14 churches and not-for-profits to assist with relief and recovery needs. “And, make no mistake, this effort is going to require years,” Jacki continued. “We are there for the long haul and will continue to work closely with these organizations and others on the front lines as they help lives heal and renew.”

As an estate attorney, Charles knows the value of leveraging donations to create deeper impact. “I have always encouraged clients to focus on giving as a part of the greater good,” he explained. “Combining gifts with others and partnering with organizations like TMF insures your giving will have maximum effect. Jan and I alone could not have focused our contribution except through the collective and knowledgeable management of the staff at TMF. Through their hard work, our small gift became a part of the greater good.”

Charles and Jan chose an IRA as the vehicle for their gift. “Having reached the magic age of 70-½years when one must begin drawing from an IRA, Jan and I decided to reach into our savings and contribute (with others) to the grants program for the recovery of the Gulf Coast disaster,” Charles said.

Donors, aged 70-½ and over, can direct charitable gifts from an IRA directly to a qualified charitable organization, such as TMF. The contribution can total up to $100,000 per calendar year and must be directed from the administrator of the IRA to the charity. A double benefit for the IRA holder is that the contribution amount is excluded from the donor’s taxable income and counts as a part of the annual required minimum distribution from the IRA. 

Charles’ long-time experience with TMF, as a former board, executive committee, and president’s advisory committee member, shaped his perception of TMF as an organization that “boldly goes where others have not gone, and in its travels lives by the principles that we should do no harm, do as much good as we can, and stay in love with our Lord,” Charles said. “TMF is a trusted, self-funded, politically neutral organization with a board and staff of deep and diverse religious, financial, and business acumen. TMF can bring all of those disciplines, knowledge and wisdom to fulfilling the purpose of the church ‘to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.’”

Like the central heart of the intersecting popsicle sticks, “If God is in our hearts, and by being one of many, the arms of His community can spread wide and be fruitful.”